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Mechanical Drafters

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What Does it Take to Be a Mechanical Drafter?

Job Description: Prepare detailed working diagrams of machinery and mechanical devices, including dimensions, fastening methods, and other engineering information.

A Day in the Life of a Mechanical Drafter

  • Lay out, draw, and reproduce illustrations for reference manuals and technical publications to describe operation and maintenance of mechanical systems.
  • Coordinate with and consult other workers to design, lay out, or detail components and systems and to resolve design or other problems.
  • Review and analyze specifications, sketches, drawings, ideas, and related data to assess factors affecting component designs and the procedures and instructions to be followed.
  • Draw freehand sketches of designs, trace finished drawings onto designated paper for the reproduction of blueprints, and reproduce working drawings on copy machines.
  • Confer with customer representatives to review schematics and answer questions pertaining to installation of systems.
  • Develop detailed design drawings and specifications for mechanical equipment, dies, tools, and controls, using computer-assisted drafting (CAD) equipment.

What Skills Do You Need to Work as a Mechanical Drafter?

Mechanical Drafters state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Mathematics: Using mathematics to solve problems.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Active Learning: Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Types of Mechanical Drafter Jobs

  • Technical Illustrator
  • Automotive Design Drafter
  • Body Designer
  • Technical Designer
  • Detailer

What Kind of Mechanical Drafter Job Opportunities Are There?

There were about 64,800 jobs for Mechanical Drafters in 2016 (in the United States).

New jobs are being produced at a rate of 5.2% which is lower than average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 3,400 new jobs for Mechanical Drafters by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 5,900 job openings in this field each year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Mechanical Drafters in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Mechanical Drafters are Texas, Connecticut, and Florida.

Watch out if you plan on working in Washington, Vermont, or Alaska. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Average Mechanical Drafter Salary

Mechanical Drafters Make between $35,720 and $88,280 a year. The median salary is $55,920.

Salary Ranges for Mechanical Drafters

How much do Mechanical Drafters make in different U.S. states?

Annual Mean Salary by State
State Annual Mean Salary

Washington

$81,180

Alaska

$72,880

New Mexico

$69,930

New Jersey

$68,200

Connecticut

$66,590

Louisiana

$66,150

California

$65,710

Maryland

$65,420

Arizona

$65,040

Colorado

$63,450

Texas

$61,770

Tennessee

$60,890

Utah

$60,450

South Carolina

$60,180

Oklahoma

$59,930

Mississippi

$59,870

Hawaii

$59,450

Minnesota

$59,360

Virginia

$59,000

Delaware

$58,360

New Hampshire

$58,350

Michigan

$58,070

New York

$57,780

Oregon

$57,750

Massachusetts

$57,500

Alabama

$56,960

Maine

$56,880

Illinois

$56,210

Iowa

$55,180

Wyoming

$54,650

Florida

$54,610

Missouri

$54,470

Pennsylvania

$54,280

Kentucky

$53,950

North Carolina

$53,810

Ohio

$53,690

Vermont

$53,600

Georgia

$53,410

Montana

$53,230

Wisconsin

$52,390

Rhode Island

$52,160

North Dakota

$51,970

Indiana

$51,610

West Virginia

$51,180

District of Columbia

$50,500

Arkansas

$50,430

Kansas

$50,210

Nebraska

$50,100

Nevada

$49,210

Idaho

$48,430

South Dakota

$41,450

Tools & Technologies Used by Mechanical Drafters

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Mechanical Drafters may use on a daily basis:

  • Reverse engineering software
  • Microsoft Office
  • Computer aided design and drafting software CADD
  • Autodesk AutoCAD Civil 3D
  • Microsoft Access
  • ERP software
  • Trimble SketchUp Pro
  • Computer aided design and drafting CADD software
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Autodesk Revit

How to Become a Mechanical Drafter

Individuals working as Mechanical Drafters have obtained the following education levels:

Mechanical Drafter Degree Level

What work experience do I need to become a Mechanical Drafter?

Mechanical Drafter Work Experience

Where Mechanical Drafters Work

Mechanical Drafter Sectors

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics

College Factual

O*NET Online

Image Credit: Via Wikimedia Commons

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